When Is My Child Old Enough…

Since I often blog on parenting topics, I receive my fair share of suggestions and questions from friends and strangers. But more than any other question, I get one that starts alike… but is ultimately very unique to each family.

When is my child old enough?

Whether it’s riding the bus, going solo into a public restroom, going trick or treating independently, shaving or sleepovers, any parent with a kid under 18 (maybe even older), has probably asked — or at least considered — this one in the past. Maybe you’re even wondering right now.

Fortunately, I’ve got the hook up here for you guys. With incredible experts in my blogging bullpen like therapist Stacy Kaiser, OB/Gyn Dr. Suzanne Gilberg-Lenz, pediatricians, special needs experts and advocates, along with smart, experienced parents who’ve been there… if you’ve got questions, I’ve got answers.

Share your question (or maybe one you heard from a friend) in the comments and yours just might be featured in this new series!

Valentine’s Day Massacre

With the upcoming Hallmark holiday on the horizon, it’s fun to see how people view the day — there’s such a wide variety of attitudes about it.

I think for years, I have secretly envied couples who get dolled up and head out among the masses, just to show off that they, indeed, are in love (or like or lust). For the first time in years, Jeff made a reservation at a local hot spot and booked us a sitter. Strangely enough, I’m torn about that — enjoying that my husband still wants to make such a gesture after all these years, but compelled to cancel it because it’s just not practical, I mean come on, it’s a school night!

But no matter what we do, I know it will not go down in the record books as my worst Valentine’s Day ever. Somewhat because I have no expectations of romantic excellence, just because the calendar says it’s February 14th, ┬ábut mostly because my worst Valentine’s Day ever happened already — in 2002.

It was going to be a big deal.

My then-boyfriend and I were going out to a new place with great reviews, in the heart of an artsy district in Los Angeles. I had received a sizable gift certificate to Macy’s the Christmas before and was going to use it all to buy myself a dress that would live up to the rest of the occasion. My boyfriend picked me up and we stopped off at a little place for a pre-dinner cocktail.

The night was going perfectly. Dinner was exquisite. The mood was romantic and flirtatious. As we sipped champagne and shared a dessert, he leaned over and whispered. “Let’s finish up. I have a gift for you back at the house.”

“Oh. My. God.” I thought. This is IT.

As we drive back to my place, I can’t help but let my wind wander… were my parents still awake on the east coast, I can’t wait to tell them… when would we be married? My palms were sweating with excitement over what was to come — this night would be unforgettable!

We arrive at my house and he opens the door for me. He leads me toward my bedroom and I am barely breathing. As he opens the door, I see it sitting on my bed, displayed like it’s as precious as the Hope Diamond — and pretty much the same size.

It was a boom box.

Huh? Was it there to play romantic music as he dropped to one knee?

Nope. It was the gift. That’s right, the boom box WAS. THE. GIFT.

I couldn’t help but admit to my disappointment, I mean I was weeping openly — it wasn’t like I was hiding it well. As I wiped the tears from my embarrassed, yet devastated eyes, he softly said.

“I’m sorry, I thought you would like it. It plays MP3 CDs.”

That’s right, ladies. It plays MP3 CDs.

That CD player still remains in this house, lulling the boys to sleep every night. What also remains in this house, is that story… shared every Valentine’s Day as we laugh at how much life has changed since then.

What was your most memorable Valentine’s Day?